FORT PLAIN, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A Capital Region jeweler says he wants law enforcement to know that they have his support after the discovery of hateful graffiti on one of his billboards.
Motorist driving along the southern end of Hancock Street in the Village of Fort Plain over the weekend may have seen it. A billboard covered in spray paint reading, “Save a life. Kill a cop!”
It was first noticed by a Fort Plain police officer out on patrol Sunday. The spray paint defaced the billboard for Castiglione Jewelers.
Andrew Castiglione runs the longtime family business located in the heart of nearby Gloversville.
“I have always been a big advocate and supporter of the police and just sad to see this in our area,” he said.
The hateful wording is popping up in the small community during a challenging time for the nation as recent cases involving officers have grabbed national headlines, including the prosecution of a former Minneapolis police officer currently on trial for the killing of George Floyd.
But Andrew says he has only witnessed a positive relationship between officers and members of his community.
“It’s not right for somebody to do something like that and to say those kinds of words. And to see that go against people who are there for your protection is just a terrible thing to happen.”
The billboard has since been replaced.
The Fort Plain Police Department is now asking for the public’s help to identify the vandals responsible. They say to give them a call at: 518-993-3781.
They say they are already receiving calls and have a few leads.
The police chief tells NEWS10 ABC if caught, the vandals will face a felony charge of criminal mischief.
As for Andrew, he wants local law enforcement to know how much he and others truly appreciate them as well as their dedication to public service, and they will be offering a gesture of thanks in the form of pizzas to be delivered to the department.